Golf Blog

Prince Edward Island

Through the golf gossip grapevine I heard about this magical place in Canada where the fairways are lined with gold, the lobsters grow on trees, and it rains cookie dough ice cream. This land of enchantment was called Prince Edward Island (PEI). Needless to say, the expectations were high as I stepped off of the plane at the small airport in Charlottetown on PEI.

As it turns out, the lobsters grow in the nearby sea, the fairways are lined with manicured bent grass, and they serve ice cream at COWS creamery. So the rumors were not entirely inaccurate. The official tag line for Golf PEI is “Over 400 fairways closer than you can imagine.” The statement is a fitting one because the golf is good, it is plentiful, and all of the courses that we played on this trip were within a 30 minute drive from our boutique accommodations at the Hillhurst Hotel.

The 2nd hole at Glasgow Hills Golf Club

The 2nd hole at Glasgow Hills Golf Club

As I sat in the restaurant of the Hillhurst Hotel getting ready for our early morning round at Glasgow Hills, a gentlemen across the way asked “Are you Patrick?” “Why yes I am.” I replied. It turns out that this man was no gentleman. It was the sometimes reclusive and often eccentric “Bogey Train Bobby.” Bobby hails from Bali and has a passion for mediocre golf on high end golf courses. He strives for excellence but is perfectly content with lipping out for par and tapping in for 5. The bogey fist pump is alive and well with this man and I was excited to document the magic of his passion for mediocrity. We jumped right into the golf action at the nearby Glasgow Hills.

Head Professional, Woody Bishop showed us the ways around Glasgow Hills.

Head Professional, Woody Bishop showed us the ways around Glasgow Hills.

Bogey Train Bobby gets the bogey party started at Glasgow Hills.

Bogey Train Bobby gets the bogey party started at Glasgow Hills.

Below you will find our first block of Instagram stories from Bogey Train’s PEI adventure. The man loves oysters and eats lobsters with no regard for human decency. On his home land of Bali, he is referred to as the “Lobster Man” because of his passion for the delicious sea crustacean.

IMG_6553.PNG
IMG_6552.PNG
IMG_6559.PNG

The next course on our PEI agenda was another little gem called Andersons Creek. We never figured out who Anderson was but we enjoyed his creek thoroughly. We even made a couple of golf ball donations. I think Bogey Train put 3 in the creek on #4. The course is scenic and a lot of fun to play.

Things heat up on the 3rd hole at Andersons Creek.

Things heat up on the 3rd hole at Andersons Creek.

Bogey Train hammers one into the trees on the right of 15.

Bogey Train hammers one into the trees on the right of 15.

The 2nd hole at Anderson Creek.

The 2nd hole at Anderson Creek.

Rain threatened but never showed up for our round at Anderson Creek.

Rain threatened but never showed up for our round at Anderson Creek.

After several rounds in the books for Bobby and I, it was time to welcome the rest of our PEI crew. This group was rowdy and ready to go.

  • Sarah Moodie - Nicknamed Smooderoo on the gram, she’s not an alcoholic golfer, she just plays one on Instagram.

  • Sean Ogle - Founder of Breaking Eighty, breaks eighty… sometimes.

  • Klea Armstrong - Amazing golf ball whacker girl.

  • The Weekend Golfer - If it’s a weekend, you know what he’s doing.

After an unbelievable dinner at Fishbones Oyster Bar & Seafood Grill, we headed out for 36 holes at the Dundarave and Brudenell River Golf Courses. Both courses are on the same piece of land but they play very differently. The Dundarave course is a Hurdzan and Fry design that opened it’s doors in 1999. With a number of spectacular holes along the river, the course is a must play when visiting PEI.

The signature hole on the Dundarave course is a short yet challenging par 4.

The signature hole on the Dundarave course is a short yet challenging par 4.

The finishing hole on Dundarave.

The finishing hole on Dundarave.

DJI_0191.jpg

The Brudenell River course opened up in 1969 and is a local favorite with just about everyone. If there was a golf popularity contest on the island, Brudenell would easily win the popular vote. The golf course is more scorable than the Dundarave course and the two courses make for an excellent day of 36 holes.

The finishing hole at Brudenell river is short and sexy.

The finishing hole at Brudenell river is short and sexy.

The opening hole on the Brudenell River Golf Course

The opening hole on the Brudenell River Golf Course

PJK_5454.jpg
Sarah Moodie rips one down the middle on the penultimate hole at Brudenell River.

Sarah Moodie rips one down the middle on the penultimate hole at Brudenell River.

Up next we have our second installment of the Bogey Train Bobby highlight reel from Instagram stories. The hot tips and clutch bogies flowed freely from Bobby. I tried my best to sit back and soak up the experience, the pearls of wisdom were coming fast and furious. I hurriedly scribbled down as much knowledge as I could on the inside of the scorecard.

IMG_6556.PNG
IMG_6561.PNG
IMG_6558.PNG

At this point it is important to pause and recognize the deliciousness and abundancy of the lobster on PEI. I set a new personal best by having lobster for dinner 4 nights in a row. Since, I did not have lobster even once in 2018, I was pretty stoked about the situation.

IMG_5753.JPG
IMG_5925.JPG
IMG_5759.JPG

When most people think of golf on PEI, they think of one course in particular, The Links at Crowbush Cove. The Thomas McBroom course debuted in 1994 as Canada’s best new golf course and has since hosted a number of premier events. The most notable being the 1998 Skins game featuring Mark O’Meara, Fred Couples, John Daly, and Canada’s own Mike Weir. Crowbush is recognized as the premier golfing experience on PEI and our crew was eager to play.

Things get sexy as you turn towards the ocean on the 6th and 7th holes.

Things get sexy as you turn towards the ocean on the 6th and 7th holes.

The 8th and 15th holes at Crowbush

The 8th and 15th holes at Crowbush

PJK_5609.jpg

Crowbush eases you into the round for the first 5 holes or so and after that it’s a golfing experience that you won’t soon forget. The course edges out to the ocean several times and comes back inland again providing a nice flow all the way through to the finish. We played right up until sunset and then headed back into town to experience another amazing dinner at Sims Steakhouse.

The 9th hole at Crowbush was one of my favorites.

The 9th hole at Crowbush was one of my favorites.

The 16th hole at Crowbush is one of the best on the property.

The 16th hole at Crowbush is one of the best on the property.

As we prepare for the recap of our final round of golf on the island, let’s take another dive into the world of Bogey Train Bobby. This man misses more putts for par than anyone I know and quite frankly, doesn’t give one damn. It’s all about the experience for Bobby. “Yeah, I do make some pars from time to time, but a bladed wedge over the green allows me to visit a part of the course that most people don’t get to see.” It’s apparent that Bobby just doesn’t feel comfortable riding a hot 2 hole par streak. “When I put together 2-3 good shots in a row, my body just naturally shuts down and the next thing I know I am hanging up a smooth 6 on the scorecard,” says Bobby.

IMG_6554.PNG
IMG_6555.PNG
IMG_6560.PNG

For the Prince Edward Island finale we were scheduled to take on Green Gables Golf Club. After such a high at Crowbush our crew wasn’t expecting another stunner of this magnitude. I might even put the round of golf at Green Gables above Crowbush. Absurdity you might say, but Green Gables has such a cool classic feel to it that I was instantly a huge fan.

DJI_0038.jpg
The deliciously fun 5th hole plays over a small creek.

The deliciously fun 5th hole plays over a small creek.

The Weekend Golfer golfing on a Wednesday!

The Weekend Golfer golfing on a Wednesday!

DJI_0082.jpg
DJI_0006.jpg
The 18th and final hole of our  Golf PEI  adventure at Green Gables

The 18th and final hole of our Golf PEI adventure at Green Gables

Because Prince Edward Island is so much more than just great golf, it was fitting that the adventure ended with one of the most fantastic dining experiences that I have been a part of. World renowned Chef Michael Smith has put together something that he calls the Fireworks Feast at The Inn at Bay Fortune. The experience starts with a guided farm tour, moves into an oyster hour at 6pm, and culminates with the Fireworks Feast in the evening. I was expecting bottle rockets and M80’s but instead I got a stomachful of delicious goodness. As an amateur food critic I don’t believe that my food palate was capable of doing this event justice.

Chef Michael Smith gave an inspired toast and posed for pictures with Sean and I.

Chef Michael Smith gave an inspired toast and posed for pictures with Sean and I.

The 6pm oyster hour… easily the best oysters I have had.

The 6pm oyster hour… easily the best oysters I have had.

The fire altar is serious business.

The fire altar is serious business.

If a trip to Prince Edward Island comes across your plate, I would highly suggest that you jump on the opportunity. Lush fairways, great people, and plenty of amazing food await your arrival. Your golfing destination starts here with Golf PEI.

Playing Through Nick Faldo

I tell hilarious golf jokes, Nick Faldo laughs with appreciation.  Photo by Sarah Moodie

I tell hilarious golf jokes, Nick Faldo laughs with appreciation.  Photo by Sarah Moodie

After meeting Nick, we headed out on the course to take on the Wilderness Club.  After a successful front nine, we approached the tenth tee.  We found that a foursome had jumped out in front of us.  We quickly realized that it was Nick Faldo, so we didn't put up much of a fight.

On the 12th hole and playing only as a twosome, Nick and his group waived us through from the fairway.  It was time to play through Nick Faldo.  The 12th hole is the best looking par 5 on the course and a great risk reward opportunity.  I stepped up and piped one right down the middle, just a little past Nick's ball.  My playing partner, Sarah Moodie, also knocked one down the middle.

Recently I had the privilege of meeting Nick Faldo at the Wildnerness Club in Montana.  Sir Nick was in town vacationing and spending some time at the fantastic course he created in Eureka, Montana.  What does one do when they meet Nick Faldo?  They arm wrestle Nick Faldo, of course.  It was unclear who the winner was in this contest of strength.  But since the tiebreaker was who had more major championships, he escaped with a win.  Nick Faldo: 6 major championships.  Patrick Koenig: 0 major championships.

Photo by:  Sarah Moodie

Photo by:  Sarah Moodie

Nick Faldo checks his yardages as the Patrick Koenig Sarah Moodie twosome play through.

Nick Faldo checks his yardages as the Patrick Koenig Sarah Moodie twosome play through.

I would replay the Wilderness Club later that day.  On my second attempt, I flushed a 2 iron to 15 feet and made birdie.  Like they say, everything is easier when Nick Faldo isn't watching with his arms folded.

I would replay the Wilderness Club later that day.  On my second attempt, I flushed a 2 iron to 15 feet and made birdie.  Like they say, everything is easier when Nick Faldo isn't watching with his arms folded.

Be sure to check out the full gallery of pictures from my round at the Wilderness Club here!

Facing 230 yards to the pin while Nick Faldo looked on, I decided to go for it and show Nick Faldo my prowess as a tenacious golfer.  I probably would even earn an automatic spot on the Ryder Cup after he sees me stuff this shot, I thought to myself.  Even though my lie was questionable, I pulled out my 3 iron and took dead aim.  

I pulled back and hit one of the worst chunks right into the middle of the pond.  I chunked it big time right in front of Sir Nick.  Arguably the greatest failure of my amateur career.  It was glorious.

In an interview in 2005, Curtis Strange said: "Nick Faldo stared a lot of guys down. He had a way of folding his arms and looking at you as though he knew you were going to make a mistake."

 I thanked Nick for letting us play through as Sarah made a solid par.  I should have blamed my poor performance on our arm wrestling match earlier.  I will just have to wait until the next time that I play through a 6 time major champ to get my shot as an automatic selection on that Ryder Cup team.